Research

The Department of Radiation Oncology has broad collaborations across the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center and Vanderbilt University as a whole.  Both trainees and faculty have historically taken advantage of this.  Our department has collaborated with renowned faculty such as Dr. Pierre Massion (Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology), Dr. David Cortez (Professor of Biochemistry and Cancer Research), and Dr. Sarki Abdulkadir (Professor of Urology and Pathology, now at Feinberg School of Medicine).  These projects have encompassed areas ranging from metabolism to cell cycle control to genomic stress response.  More clinically-oriented avenues of research include development of novel PET biomarkers, patterns of care in rare malignancies, implementation of SpaceOAR hydrogel for toxicity mitigation in prostate cancer, tumor treating fields (TTF) with Optune for brain malignancies, and functional radiosurgery for tremor/pain.  Our faculty currently have several ongoing projects collaborating with physicians in Medical Oncology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Urology, Radiology, and Pathology.  VUMC nurtures novel ideas and interdisciplinary work through the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) pilot grants.

Residents are encouraged to perform research in cross-disciplinary environments, utilizing resources inside and outside the department.  See our Resident Research page for details. 

  • Biostatistics Collaboration Center: Biostatisticians and computer systems analysts available to provide, enhance, and facilitate  statistical collaborations involving the design, conduct, analysis or publication of biomedical research 
  • BioVU DNA Databank: A resource for generating datasets that incorporate de-identified information derived from medical records and genotype information to identify factors that affect disease susceptibility, disease progression, and/or drug response 
  • Division of Animal Care: Provides procurement, husbandry, and healthcare for experimental animals and aids in scientific/technical support in animal experiments.  Also includes a mouse metabolic phenotyping center, rat and mouse neurobehavior cores, and transgenic mouse resource 
  • Flow Cytometry Resource: Provides flow cytometry services to faculty, staff, and students in the VUMC and to other investigators on a fee-for-service basis 
  • Center for Precision Medicine: Provides advanced informatics techniques for clinical phenotyping (deriving phenotypes from EMRs), gene-disease relationships (genomics, GWAS, PheWAS), and gene-drug outcome relationships (pharmacogenomics)
  • Translational Pathology Resource: Provides access to de-identified human tissue specimens and services such as necropsy comparative pathology for small animals,  immunohistochemistry, laser capture micro-dissection, and tissue micro-array preparation 
  • VanTAGe: A molecular core providing services for Illumina genotyping, Affymetrix-based genotyping and expression microarrays, DNA extraction and banking, and other specialized Next-Gen Sequencing technologies
  • VUIIS: Institute of Imaging Science which supports advances in physics, engineering, computing, and other clinical and basic sciences in the development and application of new imaging techniques 
  • Mass Spectrometry Research Center: A small molecule and proteomics facility providing the equipment and expertise integrated with bioinformatics tools to mine, filter, and assemble proteomic data 

  • Cesium-137  irradiator

  • 300 kVp/10 mA small animal irradiator

  • 4.7T (60cm bore), 7.0T (16cm), 9.4T (21cm), and 15.2T (11cm) small animal MRIs

  • Bioscan NanoSPECT SPECT/CT small animal imager

  • Siemens Inveon PET/CT and Siemens MicroPET Focus 220 animal imagers

  • IVIS Spectrum bioluminescent and fluorescent small animal imager

  • Negative-ion cyclotron optimized for generating F-18, C-11, N-13, and related radionuclides

  • Radiochemistry core for custom production of radiopharmaceuticals

  • Tentative purchase of a linear accelerator dedicated to small animals